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Why Do Badminton Racquets Break During Stringing?

Why Do Badminton Racquets Break During Stringing?
Badminton racquets sometimes break during stringing, even when the string is doing everything correctly.
In our shop, we string about 2000 racquets a year with half of these being badminton racquets. On average, we see one or two racquets break during stringing every year. Most of these are badminton racquets, with an occasional tennis racquet in the mix.

The vast majority of these defective frames turn out to be knock offs. They are counterfeit racquets purchased online from Asia. Occasionally, they are racquets our customers purchased in-store during trips overseas.

As professional stringers and members of the Yonex Stringing Team who have strung racquets at professional events, we are trained in how to string all kinds of racquets at a wide variety of tensions. We also have very stringent procedures in place to ensure that we do not do anything to cause frames to break.

So why do racquets break during stringing if the stringer is doing everything correctly? There are several possible explanations, all of which are covered below.

Knock Offs

Nearly all of the frames that break during stringing in our shop turn out to be knock offs. Customers see these racquets online or in-store at impossible prices and buy them because they think they are getting a great deal.

In truth, these are not great deals. They are rip offs. Premium racquets come with premium price tags because they have a warranty replacement guarantee built into the price. In other words, the manufacturer expects to have to replace a certain percentage of new frames so they build that percentage into the cost.

Customers have to look beyond price to risks and consequences. If an expensive racquet is deeply discounted, they should ask why? The lower the price, the higher the risk that the too-good-to-be-true deal they are being offered is, indeed, too good to be true.

Phony Numbers

Customers also have to look beyond the numbers printed on their frames. For example, when we see “Max tension 30 lbs” printed boldly on a badminton racquet, we understand that this is simply one way to get customers to pay more for a racquet. “Max tension 30 lbs” does not mean that the frame should be strung at high tension. It only means that the racquet can theoretically be strung at this tension.

“Max tension 30 lbs” does not mean what customers think it means. They think it means that this racquet can be stung at 30 lbs without risk, but it doesn’t. “Max tension 30 lbs” should say “string at 30 lbs AT YOUR OWN RISK AND ONLY WHEN BRAND NEW” because stringing any frame over 25 lbs comes with an increased risk of breakage, especially if the frame has been strung and used previously.

Material Defects

Even companies like Yonex ™, who have earned a reputation as manufacturers of the best badminton racquets in the world, will produce a tiny percentage of defective frames every year. Small flaws in the graphite, too small to be detected during the manufacturing process, can result in major failures on the court. They can also result in structural failures during stinging — especially when stringing at 25 lbs or more.

Beyond Yonex, there are some brands that are infamous for flaws, defects and other weaknesses the lead to breakage during high tension stringing. In fact, in our shop we have a policy against stringing Black Knight ™, Diadora ™, Karakal ™, Tecno ™, Dunlop ™, and Carlton ™ badminton racquets over 24 lbs unless the customer signs a waiver indicating that they understand and accept the risks of breakage.

Micro-fractures

Another possible cause of breakage during stringing is material fatigue due to micro-fractures, which are microscopic fractures in the graphite that occur over time. These fractures can occur during normal play. They can develop during normal wear and tear and can build up over time to create fracture arrays which result in invisible weak spots in the frame. They can remain undetectable until the frame is exposed to stress during stringing and suddenly result in structural failure.

String Removal

As stringers, we understand that micro-fractures and fracture arrays create a risk of structural failure in high tension stringing. We also understand that micro-fractures can be made worse by improperly cutting the strings out of a racquet strung at high tension. So we cringe a little whenever a customer walks into our shop with a used racquet with the strings already cut out.

When a customer walks in with a racquet with no strings in it, we have to wonder who cut the strings out and if they knew what they were doing when they did it. Cutting the strings out improperly is the single biggest way to exacerbate micro-fractures and create weak spots that show up during stringing.

Conclusion

As a result of all of these risks, we require all customers to sign a waiver indicating that they understand that there is a risk of breakage during stringing. We ask them to understand that “it was perfectly fine when I brought it in” is not a relevant argument. There are risks with every racquet. They can have unseen defects, the can be weakened by normal wear and tear, they can even be weakened by accidental damage caused by cutting strings out improperly.

As professionals, we know if something we have done has caused a break. We are also professional enough to stand by our work and fix anything that is our fault. We are not, however, responsible for any of the common issues above and anybody who doesn’t accept that is welcome to go elsewhere to have their racquets strung.

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Where to Play Squash in Calgary

Racquet Network does not own or operate any squash courts or squash facilities. Our players are active at the following publicly accessible squash facilities across Calgary. When necessary for tournaments and leagues, Racquet Network also rents courts from these same facilities.

Players are responsible for organizing their own matches paying their own court fees, booking their own courts and obeying the rules at the facilities they are using.


PUBLIC SQUASH FACILITIES

This is not a comprehensive list. It’s just a summary. If you want to add another facility, please let us know. The following allow the public to rent courts by the hour.


ACADIA RECREATION COMPLEX – 403-255-1252

Open to public. No membership required. Two squash courts. Three racquetball/wallyball courts. All can be rented by the hour by non-members. Advance bookings required by phone. They do not answer the phone on the weekends. They rarely answer it in the evenings either. Plentiful free parking.


FISH CREEK SPORTS CLUB- 403-256-1766

Private club with a bar and fitness area. General public can book courts and play for a $15 drop-in fee. Three squash courts. Two racquetball courts. Drop-in squash available Saturdays from 10-12 and Wednesdays from 7-9. Adult and junior lessons with a squash pro are available for both members and non members. Contact kiefer@raquetnetwork.com for more info on lessons. About 60 members at all levels. Membership fees are $40-60 per month depending on your membership plan. Free parking.


SOUTHLAND LEISURE CENTRE – 403-648-6555

Open to public. Membership optional. Two squash courts. Two racquetball/wallyball courts. All can be rented by the hour by non-members. Advance bookings required by phone. Online booking available. Plentiful free parking.


MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY – 403-440-6517

Open to public. Membership optional. Six squash courts. All can be rented by the hour by non-members. Drop-in squash available Saturday mornings from 9-12. Box leagues available to MRU Recreation members. Advance bookings required by phone. General public can book 1 day in advance. Online booking available up to 7 days in advance for members. Plentiful parking, but it’s expensive except on Sundays.


UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY – 403-220-5029

Open to public. Membership optional. 10 squash courts. Four racquetball courts. All can be rented by the hour by non-members. Advance bookings required by phone. Online booking available. Plentiful parking, but it’s expensive.


SAIT – 403-284-8027

Open to public. Membership optional. Six squash courts. One racquetball/wallyball court. All can be rented by the hour by non-members. Advance bookings required by phone. Online booking available. Plentiful parking, but it’s expensive.


TRAIL COURTS – 403-277-9673

Open to public. Membership optional. Three squash courts. Four racquetball courts. All can be rented by the hour by non-members. Advance bookings required by phone. Plentiful free parking.


EAU CLAIRE YWCA – 403-269-6701

Downtown. Open to public. Two courts. Membership optional. Free parking.


PRIVATE SQUASH FACILITIES

The following require memberships. Some are well managed. Some are not. We don’t review clubs and we don’t allow members to review clubs on this website because in the past, some clubs have retaliated against us for poor reviews posted by our members. We encourage all prospective members to investigate thoroughly before committing to a long term membership.


FITNESS PLUS SOUTH – 403-258-0333

Private club. Members can bring guests. Three squash courts. Box leagues. About 60 players at all levels. Membership fees are $50-80 per month depending on your membership plan. Free parking.


WEST HILLHURST HEALTH CLUB – 403-283-0464

Private club. Members can bring guests. Three squash courts. About 80 players at all levels. Membership fees are $50-80 per month depending on your membership plan. Online booking available. Free parking but lot is often full.


WORLD HEALTH CLUB – 403-239-4048

Private club. Members can bring guests. 8 singles squash courts. 2 doubles squash courts. Box leagues. About 300 players at all levels. Membership fees PLUS court fees required for court access. Free parking, but a tiny parking lot.


BANKER’S HALL – 403-298-4750

Private club. Downtown. Four courts. Lots of members. Membership fees are about $80.00 a month. Parking is extra.


FIFTH AVENUE CLUB – 403-543-4747

Private club. Downtown.


WESTERN CANADIAN PLACE FITNESS CENTRE – 403-662-2240

Private club. Two squash courts and a gym. Public are welcome for a drop-in fee. Drop-in squash available from 11:30-1:30 on Fridays. Lessons and clinics with a pro are also available to members and the public.


BOW VALLEY CLUB – 403-265-9074

Private club. Dowtown. Very social place — essentially a bar/restaurant with a built-in squash club. Singles and doubles courts. Lots of members. No free parking.


CALGARY WINTER CLUB

Private Club. Lots of courts. Buy-in is something like $35,000. Annual fees are in the neighbourhood of $5000 per family. Plentiful free parking.


THE GLENCOE CLUB

Private Club. Lots of courts. Buy-in is something like $50,000. Annual fees are in the neighbourhood of $8000 per family. However, they are not accepting new members, so the prices are moot. Plentiful free parking.

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Test Drive the Yonex Astrox 99

Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet

Test drive the Yonex ™ Astrox 99 badminton racquet before you buy it. This racquet is available as part of our Try Before You Buy racquet demo program in our southwest Calgary store. Customers can take up to a month to test drive a variety of premium racquets before they commit. Our customers test drive more than 1000 racquets every year.

The Yonex Astrox 99 is currently the racquet of choice for Kento Momota, the reigning World Champion. The Astrox 99 badminton racket comes with a rotational generator system and a counterbalanced head that adapts to each shot for improved shot making. This racquet will allow you to control the drive and control the opponent with increased speed and acceleration. The Astrox 99 was developed with Namd, the world’s first graphite that flexes for power and hardens for control. Please see a full description of the racquet’s technologies below.


Buy the Yonex Astrox 99 – Online or in-store

Customers may choose from the basic frame-only option or a fully customized option. We offer free shipping to most locations.


Yonex Astrox 99 – Technology


Yonex Namd

A world-first, new dimension graphite material, Namd, greatly improves the adhesion of the graphite fibers and resin by attaching nanomaterial directly to the graphite fiber.

In high performance racquets, it is common to combine nanomaterials with resin that connects graphite fibers, but in Yonex Namd, nanomaterials are directly adhered to the graphite fibers and resin is greatly increased. This major improvement in Yonex racquets produces a shaft that flexes and stores energy, delivering explosive force on impact with the shuttle.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Namd



Yonex Badminton Racquet Full Frame Namd

Yonex Astrox 88 Full Frame Namd



Yonex Nanometric

Yonex Badminton Racquet Nanometric

NANOMETRIC* improves the bonding strength between the carbon fibres enabling us to take racquet shaft construction to another level. By reducing the amount of carbon in the shaft to make it 60%* thinner than a conventional racquet whilst retaining stiffness, YONEX has created a revolutionary lightweight racquet with lightening head speed and control.

*NANOMETRIC is the new material which applies the NANOALLOYTM Technology of Toray Industries, Inc.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Nanometric



New Grommet Pattern

Yonex’ new single-pass grommet hole construction provides more grommet holes and fewer shared holes than other brands. This permits for a more high-performance stringing pattern.

Yonex Badminton Racquet New Grommet Pattern



Rotational Generator System

Yonex Badminton Racquet Rotational Generator System

By applying the counterbalance theory in Yonex racquets, weight is distributed throughout the grip end, frame top and the joint for maximum control. The transition to the next shot can be performed smoothly with a rapid succession.



Solid Feel Core

The built-in solid feel core in Yonex premium racquets reduces harmful miscellaneous vibration at impact. This technology, called “solid feel core” is a feature of all Yonex racquets manufactured in Japan.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Solid Feel Core



Super Slim Long Shaft

Yonex Badminton Racquet Super Slim Long Shaft

This is the slimmest racquet ever produced by Yonex. It vastly reduces air resistance whilst providing maximum feel.



Aero+Box Frame

Yonex frames are contoured differently on different parts of the loop. Some areas feature an aerodynamic shape to reduce air resistance. Other areas feature a box shape to provide strength and power. This combination offers a quick swing with a solid feel.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Aero + Box Frame



Built in T-Joint

‘New’ Built-in T-Joint is manufactured from a special lightweight plastic combined with epoxy resin and a foaming agent. Yonex says that it enhances quality and performance by increasing the stability of the shuttle on the stringbed and through the air.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Built in T-Joint



Yonex Energy Boost Cap

Yonex Badminton Racquet Energy Boost Cap

The new shape allows the shaft to flex, which ensures the maximum effect of “Namd[1](more flex and faster kick-back graphite material)” and stabilizes the racquet face by preventing the shaft twisting, increasing control



Isometric Head Shape

Yonex’ square-shaped ISOMETRIC frame shape is designed to keep vertical strings at a similar length. This shape produces a larger sweet spot in all directions.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Isometric

Yonex Badminton Racquet Isometric

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Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet

Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet

The Yonex ™ Astrox 99 badminton racquet has several technical innovations that improve upon earlier racquets in the Astrox series. Each of these innovations are described below. If you want to test drive this racquet, stop by our store in southwest Calgary.


Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet Innovations


Yonex Namd

A world-first, new dimension graphite material, Namd, greatly improves the adhesion of the graphite fibers and resin by attaching nanomaterial directly to the graphite fiber.

In high performance racquets, it is common to combine nanomaterials with resin that connects graphite fibers, but in Yonex Namd, nanomaterials are directly adhered to the graphite fibers and resin is greatly increased. This major improvement in Yonex racquets produces a shaft that flexes and stores energy, delivering explosive force on impact with the shuttle.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Namd



Yonex Badminton Racquet Full Frame Namd

Yonex Astrox 88 Full Frame Namd



Yonex Nanometric

Yonex Badminton Racquet Nanometric

NANOMETRIC* improves the bonding strength between the carbon fibres enabling us to take racquet shaft construction to another level. By reducing the amount of carbon in the shaft to make it 60%* thinner than a conventional racquet whilst retaining stiffness, YONEX has created a revolutionary lightweight racquet with lightening head speed and control.

*NANOMETRIC is the new material which applies the NANOALLOYTM Technology of Toray Industries, Inc.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Nanometric



New Grommet Pattern

Yonex’ new single-pass grommet hole construction provides more grommet holes and fewer shared holes than other brands. This permits for a more high-performance stringing pattern.

Yonex Badminton Racquet New Grommet Pattern



Rotational Generator System

Yonex Badminton Racquet Rotational Generator System

By applying the counterbalance theory in Yonex racquets, weight is distributed throughout the grip end, frame top and the joint for maximum control. The transition to the next shot can be performed smoothly with a rapid succession.



Solid Feel Core

The built-in solid feel core in Yonex premium racquets reduces harmful miscellaneous vibration at impact. This technology, called “solid feel core” is a feature of all Yonex racquets manufactured in Japan.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Solid Feel Core



Super Slim Long Shaft

Yonex Badminton Racquet Super Slim Long Shaft

This is the slimmest racquet ever produced by Yonex. It vastly reduces air resistance whilst providing maximum feel.



Aero+Box Frame

Yonex frames are contoured differently on different parts of the loop. Some areas feature an aerodynamic shape to reduce air resistance. Other areas feature a box shape to provide strength and power. This combination offers a quick swing with a solid feel.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Aero + Box Frame



Built in T-Joint

‘New’ Built-in T-Joint is manufactured from a special lightweight plastic combined with epoxy resin and a foaming agent. Yonex says that it enhances quality and performance by increasing the stability of the shuttle on the stringbed and through the air.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Built in T-Joint



Yonex Energy Boost Cap

Yonex Badminton Racquet Energy Boost Cap

The new shape allows the shaft to flex, which ensures the maximum effect of “Namd[1](more flex and faster kick-back graphite material)” and stabilizes the racquet face by preventing the shaft twisting, increasing control



Isometric Head Shape

Yonex’ square-shaped ISOMETRIC frame shape is designed to keep vertical strings at a similar length. This shape produces a larger sweet spot in all directions.

Yonex Badminton Racquet Isometric

Yonex Badminton Racquet Isometric

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Yonex Aerus 3 – What You Need to Know

YONEX POWER CUSHION AERUS 3 COURT SHOES BLACK
Yonex Aerus 3 has a coloured rubber outsole and may not be welcome everywhere.
Sales of Yonex ™ new Power Cushion Aerus 3 have started strongly. Everybody seems to be interested in this shoe and everybody wants to try it. Before they rush in to buy this shoe, though, we thought it was important to let our customers know what they may be getting themselves into.

The first thing people need to consider is durability. Those who remember the first iteration of this shoe — the Yonex Aerus — will remember what a disaster that shoe was for Yonex. Billed as the lightest badminton shoe ever made, it quickly became obvious that the Aerus was not built for durability. Nor was it built for continuous adult use. In fact, we processed more warranty requests for the Aerus than any Yonex shoe in the history of Racquet Network.

The second thing people need to consider is fit. Once again, a previous version of the shoe — in this case, the Aerus 2 — provides a history lesson. With a highly tapered toe, the Yonex Aerus 2 was certainly not built for everybody. In fact, in our store we found it fit less than one-third of our male customers. It seemed to fit players under 25 well enough, but the vast majority of players over 25 could not squeeze their feet into the Aerus’ narrow profile.

The final thing that people need to consider before purchasing the Yonex Aerus 3 is whether or not they will be allowed to wear it in their badminton club. Here in Calgary, for example, two of our largest badminton clubs — Smash City and Sunridge Badminton Centre — are infamous for refusing to allow coloured rubber compounds on their courts. Specifically, both of these clubs traditionally prohibit black-soled shoes on their mats.

YONEX POWER CUSHION AERUS 3 COURT SHOES BLACK OUTSOLE
Some badminton clubs do not allow black-soled shoes.
The problem for Aerus 3 fans is that, unlike the Aerus 3R which was not imported into Canada by Yonex Canada, the shoe that was imported into Canada has a coloured sole. In fact, the black Aerus 3 has a black sole, which is banned in most badminton clubs using mats.

So if you are thinking about purchasing this shoe, the first thing should do is find out if the place you play allows coloured, non-marking shoes on their courts. Otherwise, you may end up with a pair of shoes you can’t used.

If you are sure you can use this shoe, the next thing you will want to consider is the fit. Yonex has certainly been improving in this area in recent years, but their standard width shoes — like the Aerus 3 — typically do not fit about one third of the players our experts serve in our store. Most importantly, Yonex shoes do not fit older players very well. So before buying this shoe, we strongly recommend coming in to try it on.

Finally, there is the question of the Aerus 3’s durability. Will it be a durable shoe or will it be a disaster like the original Aerus?

ASICS GEL-BLADE 6
On the surface, Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 3 and Asics Gel-Blade 6 appear to be very similar.
On the surface, Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 3 and Asics Gel-Blade 6 appear to be very similar shoes. Both feature coloured rubber compounds on their out soles. Both feature lightweight, one piece uppers and both have some form of cushioning in the forefoot and heel.

The only major difference appears to be on the inner aspect of the shoe where Asics ™ has added some extra material to protect against drag wear. For players who are using these shoes for badminton, this extra layer to protect against drag wear won’t make any difference to the shoe’s durability. But for players who plan to use this shoe for squash or pickleball, this may be an issue that reduces durability. In other words, how you are planning to use this shoe may determine whether or not it is durable enough for your needs.

Unfortunately, at this early point both shoes are still so new that there is no way to actually compare their durability. As always, we will know more about how well this shoe wears at the end of the season than the start of the season. In the meantime, we recommend that you come in and speak to one of our experts before make a decision. Once we know what and where you will be playing, we will be better able to advise you.